The spry Lara Croft tumbles onto PCs on March 5, but Square Enix is taking a machete to the wait with another look at Tomb Raider's combat, which apparently involves the good Ms. Croft's natural skill at wanton slaughter. Stealth takedowns, melee slug-outs, and shooting sprees all show up, though the common result throws a lot of blood everywhere and turns the young adventurer into a rather brutal killer.
You're also shown how upgrading at campfires (opens in new tab) and discovering tombs to raid improves your arsenal and unlocks secondary combat abilities such as a rather messy pickaxe backstab and the option to stab bandits in the face with an arrow. In fact, there's lots of stabbing going on in this trailer. Also, exploding barrels! Even a desolate tropical island is the perfect home for those classic, illogical game cylinders.
Square Enix says you'll encounter "rare opportunities to cause larger explosions," a fine plus for bloodthirsty survivalists but also another way of saying, "Prepare to run into the scripted-event monster." Still, Tomb Raider's various scraps look interesting enough, if only diluted somewhat by the linear impression of it all. I'm still hopeful for an engaging action-platformer on March 5.